How was your experience with Grant Schmidt at Ohio Reproductive Medicine?
I really enjoyed and trusted Dr. Schmidt throughout our 8 cycles of treatment. I had no reason to believe I wasn't receiving the best care. Towards the end of my treatment at ORM is when I started to suspect many things had gone wrong. Through talking to other women and finally seeking a second opinion, I realized we were highly mistreated. I feel extremely let down and I feel like I have a clearer picture now of how ORM operates. I will start with the positive. Dr. Schmidt has a wonderful bedside manner. So compassionate and easy to talk to. I always left feeling positive after meeting with him. He never made me feel like I could lose this battle to infertility, always very hopeful. I preferred Dr. Schmidt over the other 4 doctors there, he seemed to be more personable and positive than others. Now with the negative and honestly the most important factors. I was diagnosed at 18 with PCOS by my OBGYN. I have many of the classic symptoms. High testosterone, and no period unless medicated. From my first appt with Schmidt he laughed and said "Oh no, you do not have PCOS." From that appt forward I was never treated as a poly patient. The next 6 cycles, in my eyes, I was treated appropriately. 2 cycles of Femara plus trigger, and 4 stim shots cycles paired with IUI's. I ovulated each month with strong leading follicles, but did not produce a pregnancy. No concerns with Dr. Schmidt's care. Then we made the decision to move forward with IVF. I was instructed to do the Long Lupron protocol as most patients at ORM I've found. As a true polycisitc patient I overstimulated bad. By day 10 of stims my E2 was about 5000 and I had over 35 follicles. I went from a Wednesday US and blood draw monitoring until Monday. That is where I had a huge jump. I should have been seen that Thurs, Fri, or Sat. I should have been monitored closer. Egg retrieval was extremely painful for me. I retrieved 34 eggs and the pain was unbearable. I then developed OHSS and my fresh transfer was cancelled. Of course it was, I was very sick and was overstimulated. However, I was still overjoyed with the amount of eggs I had and we ultimately had 13 day 5 and 6 embryos that made it to freeze. This was a remarkable number and I knew with 13 embryos we would never have to go through a stim cycle or retrieval again, my heart was beyond hopeful. Skip to my first FET. Schmidt and the embryologist come into the room and say we have 2 great looking embryos to transfer today but 3 also didn't survive the thaw so you went through 5 today. I was stunned. Wasn't expecting that news but still pleased that we transferred 2. Never again did I hear why 3 didn't survive the thaw. Schmidt nor the lab ever addressed it or gave a reason. They just mentioned this rarely happens. So now we have 8 embryos left. Still content and hopeful with that number. Skip to my next FET. That morning the embryologist calls and tells me none of my embryos are surviving the thaw, even mentions to not even head into the office. You can imagine my heartbreak. Finally I get a call, that they were able to save the very last two that were "viable." I didn't know what this meant but was relieved to get this news and we were off. In my gut, as much as I didn't want to accept this news I knew we had slim to no chance of getting pregnant. I knew those last 2 embryos that they transferred something was seriously off or wrong with them. So on that day we started with 8 and now had zero. I did not get pregnant. We were back to step zero. Within 5 months, 13 grade 1 5 day blasts, gone. At this point, my sadness turned to anger. What went wrong? How did this happen? Human error? Was there an error with the freezing or thawing? Was it the quality of my eggs or embryos? My mind was purely racing every day. Our next step was to schedule our follow-up failed consultation. I demanded someone to be present from the lab with Schmidt. I needed all my questions answered. I needed reasons and what we would change moving forward. I was beyond anxious for this appt. We go, I have all my questions typed out, they answer nothing. They have no idea why my embryos didn't survive. They couldn't answer any of my questions. Simply just "try again." That was it. I find this unacceptable. That was my last day at ORM. I have since switched to another doctor and clinic in Columbus and in my short time there I have renewed hope and my suspicions of how I was mistreated and how my embryos were mishandled were instantly gratified. It's been painfully difficult to look back on and accept my journey at ORM. I know there is no guarantee with this world of infertility but as a patient I was left feeling like a number not a cared for patient. I even followed up with a letter to Schmidt and the lab director requesting a few specifics before plunging into another new cycle after all that was lost, and didn't even get a response. That was the icing on the cake. That sealed the deal that I was at the wrong clinic. It's still a very raw, fresh topic for me. I think it will be for a while, but glad we are moving forward with a new doctor. For the 2 years I went to ORM, I recommended Schmidt to everyone and gave him nothing but praise. I no longer will do so.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Grant Schmidt at Ohio Reproductive Medicine?
Push for a tailored protocol at ORM, I feel like if you are remotely outside of the box with your medical case you are SOL. They don't seem to be adapting to the ever-evolving science of infertility. Do your own research, trust your gut, and always be your own biggest advocate. Push.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Grant Schmidt at Ohio Reproductive Medicine?
I feel like as a patient you feel like just another number at ORM. They see way too many patients and it feels every patient has the same protocol. They are just moving you through the system and process like everyone else. God forbid you ask questions or request certain care instructions. They don't tailor protocols to individual patients, one size fits all there. The IVF dept is understaffed and many of my protocol calendars and portal updates often had mistakes and didn't come in a timely manner.
Describe the protocols Grant Schmidt used in your cycles at Ohio Reproductive Medicine and their degree of success.
I feel strongly that ORM really uses the standard protocols on most patients. Especially per doc/per patient.
1. 2 Femara/Trigger shots- ovulated strong. No pregnancy
2. 4 stim cycles/IUI- 75-125units per day of Gonal-F plus trigger. Husband sperm samples very strong and high numbers each cycle. Between 3-10 large size follicles each cycle. No pregnancy
3. IVF- 225 units per day of Gonal-F, 5,000 units of HCG trigger. I overstimulated. 10 days of stims. E2 reached 5,000 I had 35 follicles. 34 eggs retrieved. OHSS. 5 day blasts- 13 embryos make it to freeze
4. FET #1- 2 embryos transferred- 3 die in thaw. Prepped with BC, Lupron, Estradiol shots, PIO shots, antibiotic, steroid. No pregnancy
5. FET # 2- 2 embryos transferred- 6 die in thaw. Prepped with BC, Lupron, Estradiol shots, PIO shots, antibiotic, steroid. No pregnancy
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
I really enjoyed Dr. Schmidt's nurses. They were also very helpful and compassionate.
Penny and LaQueena were also very nice and helpful as the IVF nurses, although they seem overloaded and understaffed for the IVF dept.
Describe your experience with Ohio Reproductive Medicine.
You can feel a little lost as a patient, you feel much like just a number in a large system. You just get pushed through, and when you ask questions you can be left feeling like you were a pest. Each time you are there, there are so many women in the waiting room and they seem very understaffed and overwhelmed. Sometimes your patient portal gets updated with the appropriate info and lab results, sometimes it doesn't.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Ohio Reproductive Medicine.
Way too many patients for the early-morning monitoring appts. Seems they are understaffed.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Grant Schmidt at Ohio Reproductive Medicine.
IVF- $6600 Without meds
FET- $2900 Without meds
What specific things went wrong at Ohio Reproductive Medicine?
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance